View Full Version : how often to clean a 10 22?

October 17, 2012, 08:17 PM
hey guys i have a ruger 10-22 and put 500 rounds through it this week. i ran a bore snake through it multiple times and is clean but should i take out the bolt assembly and such and clean that now also? im going 2 be shooting again friday anyways

October 17, 2012, 08:22 PM
Some people say just shoot it till it shoots like crap..

October 17, 2012, 08:28 PM
I think the greatest problem is the accumulation of wax mixed with gunpowder residue. This will gum up the mechanism, just how much to get there, heck if I know.

I clean my rimfires before they are put back in the safe. I do not believe in trying to find out how long I can postpone maintenance before I start having malfunctions.

I also regularly change the oil in my trucks, perform periodic maintenance. Others I know just wait till the wheels fall off before they do anything.

October 17, 2012, 08:32 PM
No. You're wasting your time unless you just like cleaning guns.

I don't have a 10/22 (though I think they're great guns) but I shoot at least a 500 round brick of .22 through various pistols & rifles every time I go to the range and I go about once a week. So my guns get shot. And get shot a lot. So much so I actually had Tactical Solutions send me a whole new 1911 .22 kit because I literally shot my old one out.

I rarely ever properly "clean" them, rather when they get too gum'd up, I'll spray them with lube, wipe off the big chunks of grit then spray them down again and away I shoot. I rarely have reliability problems and have never noticed a degradation in accuracy.

Some people enjoy cleaning their guns and keeping them in military-grade cleanness which I think is great. On the other hand I like to shoot and find it a huge waste of time. As long as it goes "BANG" I don't care if it's clean or not.

Metal god
October 17, 2012, 09:32 PM
I'm big on cleaning my guns . They get cleaned after every range trip . Like Beretta said I love cleaning my guns . It's a way to make sure everything is working properly and just good therapy . How ever if i was to be going back out in a couple days i think I'd just bore snake it and clean what I could with some Q-tips then a coulpe drops of CLP . Maybe not even that with my 22lr , but at least that with any of my other guns .

I do recomend a thorough cleaning with a final wet patch down the bore if your going to put the gun up for a while .

I've got a story for ya about how I take care of my guns . A long time a go I pawned my beretta 92G. :( when I was at the pawn shop I told them the gun had about 1,500 to 2,000 round thruogh it . They told me there was no way that gun had been shot that much cus it was in like new condition . I'd say yes at least that much and the guy would argue with me no way maybe 200 .Anyways I thought that was funny and a bit of a pat on the back for how well I took care of it .

October 18, 2012, 01:34 AM
i grew up from the school of always clean your gun every time you shoot it, but after some research and just general observation i think thats a waste, and possibly even damaging if you arent careful, when it comes to rimfires. My automatics i will lube the action, maybe take a toothbrush to the bolt face, etc but rarely clean the barrels, only if the accuracy begins to drop off.

October 18, 2012, 06:39 AM
The last time I shot my 10/22, I checked that the barrel clamp screws were tight, then reassembled the action to the stock, tightening the screws.
I sighted in a 4x scope, and proceeded to fire dime sized ten shot groups at fifty yards which obliterated the X on the bullseye.
Now, I am afraid to touch a screw on the rifle. I'll probably keep shooting until the action gets sluggish.

October 18, 2012, 06:43 AM
Clean it when it quits working or loses accuracy. A few drops of CLP or whatever oil is your choice every few hundred shots is usually all that's required or even prudent.

October 18, 2012, 11:39 AM
I always clean all my guns after firing. It may be excessive but I've never wasted $10 at the range trying to shoot a gun that won't fire right. It helps to enjoy cleaning guns.

Metal god
October 18, 2012, 01:35 PM
Generally 22 ammo is very dirty especialy the bulk stuff . I'm of the belief that not cleaning semi auto 22lr creates a slurry of grit and grime inside the action . This slurry can not be good for moving parts . I believe as the metals rub against each other in this slurry over time the parts will wear more . I plan on having and shooting my guns for a very long time . Buy keeping them clean I hope to have them operate and shoot just as well at year 30 or even year 60 as they get handed down as they did at year one . :)

October 18, 2012, 02:33 PM
On my semi auto .22's I occasionally spray out the action with carb cleaner then give it a little shot of oil. Rarely clean the barrel.

October 18, 2012, 04:36 PM
Frankly I am shocked at some of the answers to this question on how long people go before they clean their rifles, but maybe that is just me. When it comes to my weapons I am an OCD neat freak.

This is a topic of great debate and if you ask 50 people you would probably get 50 different answers. So here is mine. I clean my rifles, handguns and shotguns after each time I finish firing them. I do not allow a weapon to go uncleaned over night after it has been fired. I guess you can just call me anal when it comes to that. In all my tours in Iraq and Afghanistan I NEVER ONCE had a single stoppage. And you can rest assured no soldier of mine hit the sack before his weapon was cleaned, whether he fired it or not. And woe be to them if I took their rifle, ran my pinky in the chamber and came out with a dirty pinky.

After 500 rounds with a brand new rifle I would say you are WAY overdue. It has been my experience that .22 ammunition as a general rule uses "dirtier" powder than high power rifles. A patch run through a bore of a .22 after 10 rounds will definitely be dirtier than a patch run through a bore of a .30-06 after the same number of rounds.

Some people will say that cleaning a rifle every time it is fired accelerates barrel wear. To that I say it depends on what kind of cleaning rods you use. I use soft aluminum cleaning rods instead of steel ones and I only use brass jags. If anything is going to wear, it will be the rods and really, who cares? Rods are cheap compared to a new barrel, that is for sure

October 18, 2012, 04:36 PM
I've three 10/22's, a couple bolt actions and a mess of handguns and they all get their actions cleaned after shooting. But unlike my centerfires, I seldom clean the bores.

October 18, 2012, 05:07 PM
I clean mine every time I shoot it. But I like cleaning guns :D

October 18, 2012, 05:23 PM
how often to clean a 10 22?
Staying on point, on the Ruger 10/22, I'd let it indicate to me when to clean and how deep. In your round count, I would clean it, including the bolt, spring and reciever. However, these little guys will still function just fine, on higher counts. I did a trigger job on a five year old gun and I could not work on it until I cleaned it. Asked the owner how often he cleaned and he told me that he had never cleaned it. If you prefer cleaning after each range-time, you might do more harm than good. .... ;)

Be Safe !!!

October 18, 2012, 05:32 PM
how often to clean a 10 22?

People clean 10/22s:confused:

October 19, 2012, 02:29 AM
They need cleaning?

October 19, 2012, 08:22 AM
I had a 10-22 for years and never cleaned it and it never failed. Have two Marlin 795s and never clean them. I will wipe them down and some lubrication. I just don't fall into the clean my gun every time I shoot it camp. Self-defense guns do get periodic attention. There are potential downsides to cleaning/disassembling firearms as I read here all the time. I tend to like revolvers and pump actions. To each his own.

October 19, 2012, 08:44 AM
I clean mine religiously every five years.

October 19, 2012, 09:09 AM
i try and clean mine after every time shooting however i have friends that never clean there and they shoot fime

October 19, 2012, 09:23 AM
People clean 10/22s :confused:

Plus one. I clean my center fire and pistol after every shooting,But 10 years on 2 10/22's,never a issue and never more than a wipe down of barrel

Ken - Oh
October 21, 2012, 02:55 PM
Frankly I am shocked at some of the answers to this question on how long people go before they clean their rifles, but maybe that is just me. When it comes to my weapons I am an OCD neat freak.

You admit you are an "OCD neat freak" and you are shocked that not everyone is like you?:confused::confused::confused:

I've heard it said that more damage is done by cleaning than not cleaning.

Of course if I were in a combat situation it would be different, but so far I've never had my 10/22 fail to protect me from my paper targets. :D

October 21, 2012, 03:07 PM
I just cant let mine sit there filthy. It is good to know that for whatever reason I cant clean it and need it just a few drops of CLP will get her running and keep it running.

Metal god
October 21, 2012, 03:18 PM
I've heard it said that more damage is done by cleaning than not cleaning.

Im still having a hard time wrapping my head around this idea .Have you ever tried to push a bullet down the bore with your finger or cleaning rod ( not recommended ) I find it hard to believe that a couple passes of a bore snake is harder on the bore then several hundred rounds screaming down the barrel . Now if people are talking about using the wrong cleaning products thats a hole different subject . If you use the wrong tools for anything you do in life you have the chance of making it worse . I do not recommend cleaning any gun with the wrong tools , you can cause more damage then not cleaning it at all .

Ken - Oh
October 21, 2012, 03:29 PM
Im still having a hard time wrapping my head around this idea .Have you ever tried to push a bullet down the bore with your finger or cleaning rod ( not recommended ) I find it hard to believe that a couple passes of a bore snake is harder on the bore then several hundred rounds screaming down the barrel .

I'm certainly no expert but the first thing that comes to mind is using a cleaning rod from the wrong end and messing up the barrel crown. And of course there is the whole discussion of steel/aluminum/coated/brass rods.

For those of you who clean the 10/22 every time you shoot it, do you disassemble it to clean it from the chamber end, or do you just do it from the other end?


Metal god
October 21, 2012, 04:28 PM
I think it all comes down to cleaning your guns correctly . I think your right If you use the wrong tools and the wrong metods you will get bad results .I do take my 10/22 apart every time and only run the snake from chamber to crown . That being said , my 10/22 is my least important when it comes to the bore and crown but I still take care of it . I think I mentioned my slurry theory in a previos post above . I believe that goes for ARs as well .

October 23, 2012, 12:09 PM
I don't always clean my 10/22 right after shooting it. It has layed in the carrying case for a few days a couple of times. If I'm spending a few days at my parents property, I'll just bring along a bore snake, and a few solvent soaked patches if the .22 shooting goes into overtime.

October 23, 2012, 05:50 PM
I don't believe any modern firearm needs to be always squeake clean.
That being said , I can se that it will hurt it. :D

October 23, 2012, 06:17 PM
I've got a 10/22 that's got nearly 10k rounds through it. The last time it was cleaned... nearly 10k rounds ago.

So far it keeps on functioning just fine. That said I DO do a field strip and wipe the interior parts down with a cloth soaked with Militec-1 oil every couple thousand rounds (basically when I remember to do it). Not exactly a cleaning, more like just making sure everything is coated in oil so as not to rust.

October 24, 2012, 01:01 AM
Isn't this why they just recently came out with the 10/22 takedown rifle in stainless?

So that it fits in the dishwasher.

I clean my 10/22s after use, even if it is just a quick bore snake chamber to muzzle and/or a little lube just to make sure that all keeps on being copacetic.

I generally do a complete tear down at least once a year on all of my guns; regardless of useage, I like to see how they are "wearing" and also to make sure that lube is where it should be.

October 24, 2012, 08:30 AM
My "every 5 years" reply was really a tongue in cheek thing.
I do clean mine more often than that, probably twice a year.
But, fact is, it was bought used to be my truck gun, a real beater. It kicked around on the floor behind the seat for many years and worked whenever asked to.
It is now near my back door and is my 'critter gitter". There are few mechanical things I have ever owned that worked as reliably as this little rifle.

Mr Budha
October 25, 2012, 03:44 PM
On my Marlin 60 I usually only clean the barrel because I'm timid about taking apart the action. It's seen maybe a total of 350 -400 rounds but still shoots great. I'll eventually take it apart but like many others said, I'll do it when I see a degrade in performance.

October 26, 2012, 08:30 PM
If you are taking the barrel off to clean from the back, you are doing way too much work. If you can't stand the idea of cleaning from the muzzle, a bore snake is significantly faster than removing the barrel. I have seen a write up where someone drilled a hole in the back of the receiver to allow cleaning from the rear. Of course, you could just get a takedown model and clean the easy way. I clean my non takedown from the front.

Ken - Oh
October 26, 2012, 10:05 PM
^^^^ And that is exactly an example of what I said earlier:
I've heard it said that more damage is done by cleaning than not cleaning.

October 27, 2012, 12:06 AM
I agree.

March 26, 2017, 10:25 PM
Hey everyone,
Relatively old post, here, but here are my thoughts. As a cop, we cleaned our weapons thoroughly after every range qualification. The basic reason is safety...you want the weapon to go bang when you need it to save your life or that of someone else. But another BIG reason is due to the quality of the ammo used. We always used cheap, dirty-burning ammunition for the range for qualification purposes. Nothing worse than cheap, dirty-burning ammo to gum up your revolver or semi-auto. However, I discovered that if you use very clean, high-quality ammo, it hardly gets dirty at all, after say 100 rounds. The problem is that this kind of ammo is much more expensive than the re-loaded ammo we usually used for qualifications. So, one answer to your question deals with what kind of ammo are you using? The cheap stuff, or the good stuff? Further, even if you use the good stuff, a semi-auto needs to be oiled, but not over-oiled, on the rails of the bolt. It's amazing how some shooters put a ton of oil in there thinking it will slide better. In actuality, oil attracts dirt and it is more prone to dirt accumulation and misfire if you use too much oil. So you have to find that sweet spot. A small drop or two spread on the right places is all you need on the bolt. Most S&W handguns, for instance, need a grand total of three small drops...period. So, I would consider the kind of ammo you are using, keep it high-grade, and keep the amount of oil you use to the bear minimum in accordance to your owner's manual. DO NOT OVER OIL. It does more harm than good. If you are using cheap ammo, I'd clean it much more often than if you're using high-quality clean-burning ammo. If you shoot mostly lead bullets, put a few jacketed rounds through it once in a while to help clean out the lead build up. Those are my thoughts.

March 28, 2017, 06:58 AM
If this is a new rifle, I'd say cleaning it every 500 rounds is OK. After maybe 2K, you probably don't need to clean until it starts losing accuracy or malfunctioning.
You DO need to get a muzzle protector and use a rod(or a cable pull-thru) w/brush rather than just a bore snake. Snake is OK for quick cleaning of fouling but won't remove the heavy lead deposit that builds up in some new guns with exceedingly rough bores.
I only clean 22's when they start to choke or have been subjected to serious "environmental challenges".

March 28, 2017, 01:43 PM
On the 10/22s( Ihave 3) I don' t remember.

March 28, 2017, 10:03 PM
I've heard the big boys down at the truck stop say that you should put at least 500 rds through a new 10/22 to smooth up the bore, then clean it thoroughly, and don't worry about cleaning it again until accuracy starts to degrade.

I usually clean my 22's every 2nd or 3rd range trip, depending on my mood, mostly.

Cleaning a gun won't damage it at all..... IF you're doing it correctly.

I've become addicted to boresnakes, pulling them through from the breech end.

My biggest heartburn comes from the built up gunk in the action, which can cause sluggish bolt movement. That bothers me a lot more than anything in the bore. Soft lead bullets just don't foul up a bore much at all, in 22's.

March 28, 2017, 10:24 PM
i dont shoot mine much except for hunting......i dont clean them until the accuracy drops off. I have a 1022 in 17hm2....i do run a dry boresnake down it every 50 rounds or so due to the possibility of buildup and a kablam

john in jax
March 28, 2017, 10:37 PM
I am a big fan of the 10/22, but only have two at the moment.

Unless I know I am headed back to the range in the next week or so I clean the barrel and chamber after every trip. Depending on who all goes, and what other rifles make the trip one of the 10/22's may see anywhere between 100-500 rounds per trip.

No matter how many rounds they see, the bolts come out and the rifles get a much more thorough cleaning about once a year. I have seen too many guns ruined by lack of simple maintenance, I don't care if it is 200 or 2,000 rounds my guns are going to get cleaned up.

50 shooter
March 30, 2017, 10:46 PM
How many people clean their 10/22 mags?

In all the years that I've had mine, I've pulled them apart a few times and cleaned all the moving parts and the inside of the drum. Gunk does get down inside of them and the wax on the bullets can rub off inside the mag. They're pretty easy to clean and put back together, you can probably find something on it on YouTube to help you out.

Other then that I just wipe down parts and put everything back together on the rifle, 10/22's are pretty reliable when they're dirty. I've never done a deep cleaning on mine and it runs all the time, keep it lubed and all the moving parts will run properly all the time.

For those of you that don't understand the cleaning does more damage concept, what they're referring to is the chamber/throat area. Running a brush through it does cause wear and that's why people say to use a bore guide. Same with cleaning from the muzzle end, they do make protectors to keep the crown from being damaged. Another reason people don't like to clean the wrong way, you'll be dumping all the carbon and other junk back into the receiver and possibly down into the trigger group. As for cleaning rods, that's another issue that will get you as many different answers as people that would post an answer.

Itsa Bughunt
March 31, 2017, 04:04 PM
Between my Dad and a stint in the military, I'm in the habit of cleaning when I get home from shooting. I cheat a little with an ultrasonic, but I still do the bores by hand.